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DIRECTV Launches Second HDTV Channel Beginning Nov. 1

Los Angeles, Oct 28, 1999 -- DIRECTV, Inc. announced today the launch of its second high definition television channel featuring pay per view movies and selected special events including concerts and sporting events. The DIRECTV HDTV pay per view channel will be available 24 hours daily beginning Nov. 1 on DIRECTV channel 199.

With the availability of pay per view movies and special events in high definition format, DIRECTV is the first and only multichannel TV platform to offer consumers two channels of HDTV programming. All pay per view titles in HDTV will be available to consumers nationwide who own a DIRECTV-enabled HDTV set or digital set top converter box. DIRECTV HDTV pay per view movies will be available for $4.99 each.

HDTV movies to air in high definition format for November and December include "Forces of Nature," from DreamWorks Pictures, starring Sandra Bullock and Ben Affleck; "The Corruptor," featuring Chow Yun-Fat and Mark Wahlberg; New Line Cinema's "Blast from the Past," starring Brendan Fraser as naive Adam born in a bomb shelter that was cocooned underground in 1962 by a blast during the Cuban Missle Crisis and raised on Jackie Gleason re-runs and Perry Como records, Alicia Silverstone as Eve, Christopher Walken as the paranoid scientist Calvin Webber, Sissy Spacek as his picture-perfect suburban wife Helen .

In January, DIRECTV will feature New Line Cinema's box office hit, "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me," starring Mike Myers and Heather Graham. DIRECTV will feature additional titles as they become available.

"With HDTV, consumers have the convenience of bringing the movie theater experience directly in to their home," said Stephanie Campbell, senior vice president of Programming for DIRECTV. "DIRECTV is giving consumers another opportunity to enjoy quality programming in high-definition format with exciting box office movies and special events."

In addition to pay per view movies and events in high definition, DIRECTV also offers the "HBO HDTV" channel, which features blockbuster Hollywood films and original movies from the HBO West channel in high definition format available on a 24-hour basis on DIRECTV channel 509.

DIRECTV's HDTV pay per view channel and HBO HDTV channel will be delivered from its 119 degrees West Longitude (WL) orbital slot location. To receive DIRECTV HDTV programming, consumers may purchase an HDTV set with a built-in DIRECTV System receiver or a DIRECTV-enabled HDTV set-top box and an 18 by 24-inch oval satellite dish, and subscribe to one of DIRECTV's programming packages that offers the HBO channels. The oval satellite dish is needed to receive HDTV programming from 119 degrees WL and DIRECTV's core programming from its 101 degrees WL orbital slot location.

To date, DIRECTV has licensed leading consumer electronics manufacturers to develop and market DIRECTV-enabled HDTV sets and/or set-top boxes including Thomson Consumer Electronics (under the RCA and PROSCAN brand names), Hitachi, Toshiba and Mitsubishi. Leading retailers nationwide including Circuit City, Best Buy, The Good Guys and Nobody Beats the Wiz are currently displaying DIRECTV HDTV products and DIRECTV high definition programming available to dealers since October 1998.

DIRECTV provides satellite television service to more than 7.7 million customers, including customers of the PRIMESTAR By DIRECTV service. DIRECTV is a registered trademark of DIRECTV, Inc., a unit of Hughes Electronics Corporation. The earnings of Hughes Electronics are used to calculate the earnings per share attributable to GMH (NYSE symbol) common stock. Visit DIRECTV on the World Wide Web at www.directv.com

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- 1999 by Steven E. Schoenherr. All rights reserved.

Return to Recording Technology History Notes | this page revised Dec. 10, 1999
 
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